Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott has left the country to train while holding out for new deal

Multiple sources have confirmed that Cowboys holdout running back Ezekiel Elliott has indeed left the country.

Elliott has returned to Mexico to train in Cabo San Lucas while in a contract dispute with the Cowboys.

He trained in Cabo in 2017 when he was suspended six games by the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy.

While some members of the Cowboys brass quietly believe going out of the country while his teammates are working hard in training camp is a bad look for Elliott, sources close to Elliott contend that going to Cabo is no different than the Cowboys being in California, away from their headquarters in Frisco.

Elliott will be participating in an NFL-style training camp in Cabo along with a couple of other NFL players, according to sources.

Free agent running back Orleans Darkwa is also training in Cabo. Receiver Malachi Dupre was slated to train with them as well but he was recently signed by the Los Angeles Chargers.

Elliott has two rushing titles since joining the Cowboys as the fourth overall pick in 2016. He has two years left on his contract but wants a market-setting deal that surpasses that of Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, the current highest paid player at the position.

The Cowboys have said they would use the four-year, $60 million-contract Gurley signed last summer as the basis of any new deal for Elliott. The two sides remains far part, resulting in Elliott’s decision to hold out from training camp.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was indifferent when told of Elliott going to Cabo to train while holding out. He would prefer him in camp but he believes he will get himself ready to go.

“The thing that we want is for our players to be ready to go,” Garrett said. “If he feels like that is going to help him be ready to go, he should go do that. I know he spent some time down there during that suspension and came back. He was ready to play. That is not in my control. We would like him to be here practicing today.

“The nature of the game is that is not happening right now. Zeke loves football. He loves it. He is going to get himself ready to go. He knows the responsibility he has to his team and his teammates. He takes that seriously.”

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.